1st September 2005 - 07:18 AM
The debate/discussion of ID & EMany people have misinterpreted or do not understand the meaning of the terms Evolution or Darwinism and Intelligent Design.
Darwinism is actually an old-fashioned word that is generally used to refer to the concept of macro-evolution. Macro-evolution is Darwin's theory that random mutations over beellions and beelions of years and survival of the fittest can account for the diversity and complexity of life on earth. This concept can also be generally called naturalistic evolution or natural selection.
Darwinists assert that when earth was a baby, from a mix of water-born chemicals, weather and atmospheric conditions, known as Primordial Soup, sprang the first primitive living organism. From this first life form all living things evolved, including humanoids (I like to play with words sometimes, it's a habit I learned from my brother). The skeptical saying goes "from primitive goo to me and you by way of the zoo". Darwinism supposes evolution from lower life forms to higher life forms, including humanoids.
From the time of Darwin to the present, much of his macro-evolutionary theory has been whittled away by the revelations of more sophisticated scientific methods. Darwin's more modern followers have "evolved" the theory of Darwinism to fit what they believe is a defensible position. The correct phraseology for this modern practice of Darwinism is "neo-Darwinism". Basically, this continues to be the theory of macro-evolution by the mechanism of micro-evolution.
It is important to note that while neo-Darwinian theory is widely disputed, micro-evolution is essentially settled science. Micro-evolution is the process whereby small changes occur within species that may result in adaptive differentiation within species. An example is the mating of an English Cocker Spaniel and a French Poodle; the result is the popular mixed breed, the American Cockapoo. But note, it is still a dog. It should be noted that even conservative Biblical Creationists like me acknowlege that micro-evolution is settled science. It is worth noting that some ardent Darwinists will sometimes state noisily
that evolution is "settled science", like gravity is settled science, but in reality only 10% of their entire theory is settled- just view a few of the anti-design posts in this very forum to see how noisy they can be. If they are referring to micro-evolution, they are correct (the 10%). However, there is uncertaintity in the terminology. Macro-evolution (or neo-Darwinian theory) is far from settled science.
Intelligent Design (ID) has its own issues of nomenclature. The critics claim there is no theory or even scientific hypothesis of Intelligent Design. This is not the case. Intelligent Design works by way of established good science. ID scientists work from emperical scientific method, as do most biologists, physicists, chemists, etc. Intelligent Design, like Darwinism, can be understood as a movement. With two primary positions as noted from the ID network:First
, ID has done a thorough review of Darwinian evolutionary theory. Darwinisms beginnings start from the thoughts of naturalist philosophers like David Hume, from the 18th century. Darwin wrote "Origin of the Species" in 1859. ID propents believe there are numerous foundational bias problems with Darwinism. This first position of ID is to "teach the controversy" between comtemporary science and neo-Darwinian hypotheses. Second,
Intelligent Design uses multiple scientific studies to demonstrate that origins of the universe, life on earth as well as complexity in living organisms is not explainable by way of naturalistic, or Darwinian hypotheses. ID uses the scientific genres of biology, chemistry, physics, geology, archaeology, cosmology, among others to demonstrate that Darwinism falls critically short of its goals. Further, ID says that the complexity observed via emperical scientific observation and experiment yields life structures and processes that observationally look like non-living structures that are only a function of intelligent design.Intelligent Design does not make claims regarding who or what the intelligent designer might be.
ID, like neo-Darwinian theory, is an observational field of study. It looks and makes statements. Neither Darwinism nor Intelligent Design contribute much to experimental biology; they are both focused on telling the history of the universe and life on earth.
It is interesting to note that both Darwinians and ID proponents have philosophical underpinnings. But contrary to the conventional wisdom, Intelligent Design has less inference to religion than Darwinism.Philosophically, Darwinism points to an atheistic world view; often called naturalistic atheism.
As such, there is one overriding philosophical premise in neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory. It can be summed up with the phrase "Anything But Design". In essence, this means that any naturalistic process is possible to potentially explain the history of life on earth. The only possible causes that are rejected by Darwinists are those involving the potential for Intelligent Design, or "Anything But Design" (ABD).
ID, on the other hand, begins from a different position. Intelligent Design relies on "emperical scientific method" to determine the origins of the universe, life on earth and life's incredible diversity and complexity. Contrary to the outcry of critics, ID makes no comment regarding either atheism or theism. Intelligent Design has no connection with the Biblical Creationism movement, which typically calls for a "young earth" (10,000 or so years old) and a strict interpretation of life on earth by way of the book of Genesis. That does not mean that Creationists do not support the ID position, especially as it relates to teaching ID alongside E in public schools. My personal views may differ slightly from the standard ID position, but in general I am in agreement with its premise.The specific scientific findings Intelligent Design
has made state that structures and processes of living organisms compare to inorganic structures and process that are most certainly designed by an intelligent method or agent. ID analyzes living systems via standard scientific methodology and forms conclusions based on the emperical evidence, without any prior commitment to either atheism or theism or ID or evolution. The origin or identity of the designer that is strongly inferred is not of interest to Intelligent Design. ID merely states and illustrates the emperical presence of design in living organisms.
Darwinism has a long history and paper trail. Intelligent Design is a more recent field of study, dating to the late 1980s. But ID has offered up some compelling work that merits even-handed consideration. For the debate on the relative merits of the opposing movements, a clear understanding of what each movement believes is critical and that is why I am making this long post. I have started a diplomatic debate/discussion in one of the other forums here, see 'Holes in Evolution' and I look forward to a friendly back and forth.
Now to all the posters here who want the ID'ers and Christians to get off the board, well who would you talk to then? Do you only want to talk to people who think like you and can stoke your ego? Gimme a break, that's no fun.
Careful evaluation of the shortcomings of Darwinism, including examples of scientific and educational fraud can easily be found by performing a simple google search. Given the ongoing ID slaughter and emotional outcry from lay-evolutionists claiming Intelligent Design is religion, I feel that it is important to clear the air of that misidentification.
Have a good day,